How to Deliver Memorable Internal and External Customer Experiences in a Pandemic and Post-Pandemic World | Let Them Buy Online

Brian Solis observed, “Each business is a victim of Digital Darwinism, the evolution of consumer behavior when society and technology evolve faster than the ability to exploit it.

Calling back to Brian Solis’ quote, do you believe your business is experiencing digital Darwinism – reflecting an expedited evolution of consumer behavior, COVID-19, and technology advances?

In this series, I committed to sharing research data on what customers and team members want from brand experiences now and well-beyond the pandemic. In this short post, let’s look at digital Darwinism in the context of online transactions:

In a research study titled “The State of Customer Service Experience,” The Northridge Group found:

  • Customers’ preference for digital customer service channels has increased from 24% to 38% when compared to 2015. As businesses improve their digital channel experiences, customers’ preference for and use of these channels will continue to increase.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, 68% of customers increased online shopping or tried it for the first time. 60% of customers increased their online shopping during the pandemic and 8% shopped online for the first time during the pandemic.

I watched clients of mine make the switch to online commerce in remarkable ways. One visionary leader, Steve Kingman, and his senior leadership team had long been working on selling newly constructed homes online. As the crisis hit, Hayden Homes activated the option to buy now on their website. Despite being a mid-sized affordable housing builder, the team at Hayden Homes invested in a customer experience where you can customize your dream home or choose from their inventory of homes and click “buy now.” This was unthinkable years ago and will become expected in the years ahead.

Inspired by The Northridge Group’s research and Hayden Homes leadership and ability to activate online purchasing for new home construction, here is your weekly challenge questions:

  1. Is there any product or service you are not making available online? If not, why not?
  2. How have you taken products or services previously sold offline and made them appealing and easy to purchase online?
  3. Post-pandemic, what percentage of sales do you expect from offline and from online channels?  Have you optimized the experience for both customer journeys and for customers who will move back and forth online to offline?

For more about Human Experience Elevation, please pick-up or gift a copy of my book Stronger Through Adversity, which provides more than 20 pandemic forged lessons from 140 plus leaders like the CEOs and Presidents of Hayden Homes, Target, Verizon, Kohl’s, Microsoft, and Marriott. To elevate the experience of those fighting COVID-19, I’m donating a portion of the book’s proceeds to the international nonprofit Direct Relief, which provides food and supplies to those on the frontline.

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Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. is a professional speaker and chief experience officer at The Michelli Experience. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with some of the world’s best customer experience companies.

Follow on Twitter: @josephmichelli

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